Present-Centered Therapy is a non-trauma focused treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This therapy modality is called “present centered” as the goal is to focus on the client’s current/present life while recognizing the connection between PTSD symptoms and current struggles. All the while doing this without focusing on past traumatic events.
There are a host of therapy options when it comes to treating PTSD and C-PTSD symptoms and they reside under different treatment umbrellas: medication treatment, trauma-focused therapy, and non-trauma focused therapy.
I have utilized all three! When I was first experiencing severe panic attacks (but, not yet given a C-PTSD diagnosis), I was prescribed anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications. I eventually requested to be weaned off of all medications and challenged myself to learn coping strategies while continuing “talk therapy”. I began psychotherapy with a licensed practitioner in 2013 and we started the process of shining a light on my trauma history. This counselor suggested EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) as an alternative and I moved into that therapy practice. It was there that I started the deep-dive back into my trauma history, reliving traumatic events throughout my sessions. I participated in ninety-eight EMDR and brainspotting sessions which spanned a four-year period.
The goal for YOU (or anyone in your life seeking therapeutic support), is to find what works best for you and your needs. You know YOU best. The key is to research your therapy options, then research therapists who specialize in the treatment you have chosen for yourself. Continue your self-care journey by reading the latest research on brain plasticity (the brain’s ability to change) and evolving therapies.
* Honestly, this was a difficult interview for me to conduct due to my trauma history and propensity for avoidance. Definitely a tough subject to discuss. Particularly when it came to the subject of “hope”. I am a hope-filled, hope-inspired, hope-flinging soul. Listen in as Dean discusses his book The Impossible Conversation and upcoming book/workbook release this spring. My question to you is . . . #whatishope
Join me in this deep and thought-provoking conversation with Dean Walker about his upcoming book/workbook release (coming spring, 2019), his mission, philosophies, and more!
From Dean’s website:
“Welcome to our Living Resilience website. Founded by renowned author, speaker and life coach, Carolyn Baker and author, resilience coach and transformational training designer, Dean Walker – Living Resilience is an alliance of authors, journalists, health professionals, concerned global citizens, scientists and artists.
What we all have in common is a mutual concern that humanity has conducted itself in such a way (primarily for the past one hundred years) that has landed us in a Twenty-First Century confronting not only vexing problems at every scale of life on Earth, but, more importantly, a set of predicaments that show no sign of relief or solution.”
What Dean has going on at the moment …
The book, released last year, The Impossible Conversation: choosing reconnection and resilience at the end of Business as Usual.
A new batch of online support content, self-paced on demand courses, resilience coaching for individuals, families and organizations, online focused advanced practices.
Safe Circle: An online, free support group that meets on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Tuesday of every month, sign up for the Zoom video call invitations on the website, www.LivingResilience.net.
Podcast: The Poetry of Predicament Podcast – a YouTube channel
Lastly, and by far the largest project at the moment, a new book and workbook combination, due out early in 2019. These two books are intended to be far more practical for the person who is grappling with finding meaning, purpose and reclaiming agency and right-relationship – in a post-truth, predicament-laden world.
This series will focus on the benefits of being persistent along your healing quest. I will, again, be speaking from experience. Some practical advice mixed with sprinklings of raw truth (those “This sucks and I really want to give up” moments).
This will work best if you have a journal, pad of paper, or Word doc dedicated to this exercise as I will be asking you to keep notes which you will need to refer back to as we progress.
Subtopics will include:
What does persistence really mean?
How do we define positivities?
A checklist of positive outcomes.
Habits and hurdles.
Encouraging one another.
I look forward to embarking on a Positivities of Persistence journey with you!
I was honored to have Dr. Greg Williams join me for a powerful conversation about his upcoming book release “Shattered by the Darkness: Putting the Pieces Back Together After Child Abuse”, his mission, personal story of triumph, and more!
Per Greg’s website: “Dr. Gregory Williams has written a new book that chronicles his lifelong journey of child abuse and its aftermath. It has taken Dr. Gregory more than 30 years to begin unveiling the horrors of what happened to him throughout his entire childhood. His book recounts the sexual exploitation he endured at the hands of his own father for 12 years.” https://shatteredbythedarkness.com/
Be sure to check out these articles, highlighting Greg’s story, posted in the ACEs Connection community:
I want to share one coping strategy a month. These are strategies I use (or have used) in my own life as I travel the healing journey. I hope they bring you tranquility, as well!
Create a safe space for yourself.
This can be a safe space in your mind where you can go when feeling anxious. Mine is a cozy little nook, surrounded by books and filled with a snuggly bed with lots of pillows and blankets, looking out a ceiling to floor window over a brilliant blue ocean, with a calming breeze flowing through the room, and sunlight streaming from behind a lone white cloud. Use as much detail as you can muster. What does the space smell like, what’s the temperature, what’s there in the space? Are you outside or inside? Remember, this is YOUR space. Fill it with you and everything that makes your heart happy.
Or an actual space. Filled with all things comforting, supportive, love-infused, and joyous. Make it about you and your needs. What makes your soul happy? Fill YOUR space with THAT.
(The following article comes from borrowed snippets from a conversation thread in the ACEs Connection community in response to my asking for guidance regarding Exposure Therapy)
“Prolonged Exposure (PE) is the most researched treatment for trauma related disorders around. It is also a “gold standard” treatment – meaning its efficacy is top of the line. Dropout rates for trauma treatments are statistically the same for all approaches. Part of the symptomatology of PTSD is avoidance. That is (the) basis for the prolonged exposure, to have the client face what they are avoiding, especially the more disturbing aspects of the traumatic event(s) as measure by subjective units of distress (SUDs).
PE involves having the client relive the trauma over and over again until SUDs begin to go down. Your homework would include listening to recordings of your sessions outside the treatment room. You may also be assigned to expose yourself to anxiety provoking stimuli outside of sessions based on a hierarchy of fears and anxieties working on the most anxiety-provoking antecedent first. As previously stated, the goal of therapy is to reduce your SUDs level to a manageable point. Even though SUDs were developed by a behavior therapist (the “B” in CBT which is the general classification of PE), the late psychiatrist, Josepf Wolpe, SUDs are also used in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).
The research indicates there is no statistically significant (difference) in any of the approaches with the exception of EFT, which doesn’t have a significant research base, though the relatively fewer studies indicate EFT yields promising results.
It made my heart happy to sit down with my friend Krissie Myers to discuss her program directors roles with Milestones, Inc. – an equestrian achievement program – and Kentucky Intensive Family Services foster care agency. You can find out more about Milestone’s wonderful programs and volunteer opportunities on their Facebook page or on their website.
Information on Kentucky Intensive Family Services can be found on their website:
“As a small, non-profit agency, KIFS takes pride in the ability to provide intense, therapeutic, in-home services to foster families and the children placed in their homes. We are very proud of our high success rate of helping children reach permanency, reducing the lingering effects of trauma due to abuse, neglect, and family crisis situations, and enhancing the over-all health, well-being, and life experience of our most vulnerable population.”
Thanks for joining us! If you are enjoying these podcast, please be sure to leave a comment on iTunes or provide feedback on Blubrry or my website.
And, as always, a reminder to be gentle with yourself.
I was thrilled to have Lucia Giovannini join me for a beautiful and enlightened conversation about her upcoming book release in the United States, her life mission, soul work, animal advocacy, and so much more! Be sure to check out the quiz on her website! Thank you so much for joining us.
“Lucia Giovannini is a former Italian supermodel turned best-selling author, spiritual teacher, transformational coach, environmental & animal activist, and author of 13 books. Her best-selling book, “A Whole New Life”, was first published in Italian and is now translated into eight languages, including an English version published by Hay House India. Her book has sold thousands of copies around the world and will be debuting in the US in March 2019. Growing up in Africa, Lucia often caused her parents’ hearts to skip a beat when she befriended the wildlife, from lizards to crocodiles. Till this day, she remains a passionate animal rights activist. She is a Master Fire-walking Trainer, an NLP and Neuro-Semantics Trainer, and a recognized international Life Coach.”
I have been taking a little social media post-holiday hiatus. Catching up on life and such. Then today put life in perspective in a huge God-therapy way so I had to share.
Sammie was working her therapy dog gig this morning when a child was brought into the room. His tear-filled eyes captured my heart and Sammie instantly worked her therapy dog magic . . . kisses and hugs and snuggles and more kisses. She wouldn’t leave his side for nearly an hour. He and I chatted and chatted while Sammie loved him. With the purest love possible. Just heart to heart.
Afterward I discovered the horrific tragedy that had befallen this child only hours prior. I cried the entire car ride home. My sweet dog helped this little guy smile when smiling seemed an impossibility for these circumstances. She gave him an hour of reprieve from his heartache and trauma.
What a wonderful connection of souls and like-minded philosophies I experienced during this interview with Elizabeth Sullivan, founder and CEO of Empower Survivors. Please join us as we discuss surviving sexual abuse, Giving Voice, empowering survivors, and so much more.
As shared on the Empower Survivors website:
“Elizabeth is the founder and CEO of EmpowerSurvivors, child abuse survivor, facilitator, speaker, activist, survivor coach and mother of three who has made it her life mission to support survivors on their healing journey’s, educate communities on child abuse, and aid in the prevention of child abuse and adverse childhood experiences.”Their mission is “To support adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse , educate communities, reduce the rape and molestation of children, and break the silence that allows childhood sexual abuse to go on for generations.”
You can contact Elizabeth and the Empower Survivors non-profit agency using the following links: